Tag: Iraq War Logs

Obama Administration Defending US Military’s Iraq Record After WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs

Earlier this week Amy Goodman of Democracy Now conducted an extensive interview with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks about his October 22, 2010 release of the nearly 400,000 documents of Iraq War Logs.

While the Obama administration is defending the US military’s record in Iraq, the allegations in the documents have sparked worldwide condemnation, with Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg saying the allegations are quote, “extremely serious” and should be “properly examined“, while the United Nations chief investigator on torture, Manfred Nowak, has called on the Obama administration to order a full investigation of the role of US forces in human rights abuses in Iraq.

Assange also confirmed that threats by the Pentagon would not stop WikiLeaks from releasing additional military documents related to the war in Afghanistan.

Democracy Now – October 26, 2010

about 30 minutes

..transcript follows..

Iraq War Logs & The Shaming of America

Robert Fisk: The Shaming of America

The UK Independent, Sunday, October 24, 2010

As usual, the Arabs knew. They knew all about the mass torture, the promiscuous shooting of civilians, the outrageous use of air power against family homes, the vicious American and British mercenaries, the cemeteries of the innocent dead. All of Iraq knew. Because they were the victims.

Only we could pretend we did not know. Only we in the West could counter every claim, every allegation against the Americans or British with some worthy general – the ghastly US military spokesman Mark Kimmitt and the awful chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, come to mind – to ring-fence us with lies. Find a man who’d been tortured and you’d be told it was terrorist propaganda; discover a house full of children killed by an American air strike and that, too, would be terrorist propaganda, or “collateral damage”, or a simple phrase: “We have nothing on that.”

Of course, we all knew they always did have something. And yesterday’s ocean of military memos proves it yet again. Al-Jazeera has gone to extraordinary lengths to track down the actual Iraqi families whose men and women are recorded as being wasted at US checkpoints – I’ve identified one because I reported it in 2004, the bullet-smashed car, the two dead journalists, even the name of the local US captain – and it was The Independent on Sunday that first alerted the world to the hordes of indisciplined gunmen being flown to Baghdad to protect diplomats and generals. These mercenaries, who murdered their way around the cities of Iraq, abused me when I told them I was writing about them way back in 2003.


We still haven’t got to the bottom of the WikiLeaks story, and I rather suspect that there are more than just a few US soldiers involved in this latest revelation. Who knows if it doesn’t go close to the top? In its investigations, for example, al-Jazeera found an extract from a run-of-the-mill Pentagon press conference in November 2005. Peter Pace, the uninspiring chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is briefing journalists on how soldiers should react to the cruel treatment of prisoners, pointing out proudly that an American soldier’s duty is to intervene if he sees evidence of torture. Then the camera moves to the far more sinister figure of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who suddenly interrupts – almost in a mutter, and to Pace’s consternation – “I don’t think you mean they (American soldiers) have an obligation to physically stop it. It’s to report it.”

Wikileaks and Iraq Body Count News Conference Saturday Morning

Julian Assange of Wikileaks and Professsor John Sloboda of the Iraq Body Count project spoke Saturday morning in a news conference at the Frontline Club in London, England.

Sloboda gave his early assessment of what the Iraq War Logs released by WikiLeaks add to the known Iraqi death toll, while Assange defended his decision to publish the leaked documents, saying “this disclosure is about the truth” and that his hope is to correct some of the attacks on the “truth” about the Iraq invasion and occupation by the Pentagon and the American government and US mainstream media.

The BBC reported this morning, with their reporter Gordon Corera framing the initial spin UK mainstream media will put on the release of the logs: